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Sidebar to Al Kamen's Column--WashPost 9/26/07

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Sidebar to Al Kamen's Column--WashPost 9/26/07

Protest Procedure*

Wednesday, September 26, 2007; A17

/The Supreme Court kicks off its new term on Monday, and those who feel
strongly about the death penalty, the rights of terrorism detainees and
the limits of presidential power -- among the cases the court will hear
this term -- may already have their protest signs ready./ /Below, notes
of guidance from the regulations that maintain "suitable order and
decorum within the Supreme Court Building and grounds."/

The use of signs on the perimeter sidewalks on the Supreme Court grounds
is regulated as follows:

1. No signs shall be allowed except those made of cardboard,
posterboard, or cloth.

2. Supports for signs must be entirely made of wood, have dull ends, may
not be hollow, and may not exceed 3/4 inch at their largest point. There
shall be no nails, screws, or bolt-type fastening devices protruding
from the wooden supports.

3. Hand-carried signs are allowed regardless of size.

4. Signs that are not hand-carried are allowed only if they are

(a) no larger than 4 feet in length, 4 feet in width, and 1/4 inch in
thickness (exclusive of braces that are reasonably required to meet
support and safety requirements, as set forth in section 2 above), and
not elevated so as to exceed a height of 6 feet above the ground at
their highest point;

(b) not used so as to form an enclosure of two or more sides;

(c) attended at all times (attended means that an individual must remain
within 3 feet of each sign); and

(d) not arranged in such manner as to create a single sign that exceeds
the size limitations in subsection (a).

5. No individual may have more than two non-hand-carried signs at any
one time.

Notwithstanding the above, no person shall carry or place any sign in
such a manner as to impede pedestrian traffic, access to and from the
Supreme Court Plaza or Building, or to cause any safety or security
hazard to any person.